Not All Asians Speak Chinese, Okay!?

Austin McGlothlin,
Berea, KY.

I’m an Asian studies major with a concentragtion in Japanese language. I have spent the only year I’ve been in college identifying the cultural differences in Asia that has created stereotypes about all Asians being smart or gifted at musical instruments,etc. But I’ve mostly noticed the fact that no one, even in asian studies classes with me, can tell the difference between asian cultures. Everyone thinks that each country and ethnicity is the same as one another, and they even tend to assume that Asian Americans speak an asian language… well just Chinese. When I tell people I am learning Chinese, I tend to get mocked with the typical “Ching Chong Wong” crap that is supposed to ressemble chinese and doesn’t even acurately mock any other language but Chinese. I’ll even have friends that have known me for years ask me which language I’m learning again because it’s supposedly so similar to chinese that they can’t get it straight. Everyone assumes that they are exactly the same and that both Chinese and Japanese specifically are all there is to Asia and anyone with tan skin and slanted eyes are assumed to be smart, gifted Chinese people. It bothers me.


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